Education, Emancipation and Social Change

Education, Emancipation and Social Change

What role does education play in social change? What links learning and emancipation?

In this month FirstWeds we are bringing together a diverse panel involved in community, adult and development education to explore different approaches and practice in learning for a better world.

They will help us unpack some of the rationale and pedagogical ideas that ground their work and how they can help us better understand the world we live in.

We are delighted to be joined by

Alice Feldman lecturer in the School of Sociology at University College Dublin and coordinates the MA Race, Migration and Decolonial Studies ( Her work involves experiments at the intersections of art, research and pedagogy to mobilise creative agency, embodied knowledges and reflexive solidarities in decolonial knowledge justice projects. Over the last two decades she has also worked in research, advisory and volunteer capacities for an array of groups involved in anti-racism, intercultural and integration work.

Niamh O’Reilly is CEO of AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation in Ireland with 18 years experience in the lifelong learning field. Niamh is an educationalist with expertise in educational equality, learner voice, community education, policy analysis, organisational development and governance. Niamh was Chair of the Irish COVID 19 tertiary education response working group on Mitigating Educational Disadvantage. She was appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills to two Irish State Boards: Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority.

Patrick Esekon, a Kenyan priest currently undertaking a MA in International Development at Maynooth. Before coming to Maynooth Patrick worked at the intersection of non-formal education and unemployment. 

Fergal Finnegan, lecturer at the Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth, National University of Ireland and co-director of the Doctorate in Higher and Adult Education and the PhD in Adult and Community Education programmes there. Before becoming an academic Fergal was a community adult educator and literacy worker for a decade and these experiences have strongly shaped his work. He is interested in how adult education can support transformative learning and contribute to egalitarian social change. Fergal edits the Journal of Transformative Education and is a co-convenor of the European Society Research on Education of Adults (ESREA)  network on Active Democratic Citizenship and Adult Learning.